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OREM GIVES GO-AHEAD TO 10-STORY INN

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A luxury high-rise inn is definitely out of Provo but could be under construction in Orem by September.

Orem's City Council approved Tuesday John Q. Hammons Industries' letter of intent to build the seven- to 10-story hotel at the mouth of Provo Canyon that includes a convention center for the valley.Provo city officials had discouraged Hammons when he initially bid to build his luxury hotel in that city. Orem reaped the benefit of that disagreement.

The council unanimously approved the move, committing the city to providing $9 million dollars toward the cost of building the convention center.

In return for the city's investment, Hammons will acquire the old Utah Power & Light site at 800 North and University Avenue for the project. (The ruins of the plant itself will be cleaned away and the substation screened at first, then eventually relocated.) Hammons Industries will design and build the 235 Luxury Plaza hotel tower at an estimated cost of $17 million.

Hammons also will guarantee any costs above $9 million for the convention center, operate and maintain all of the property and pay all taxes and insurance. Orem City Manager Daryl Berlin said the company's promotional team will provide marketing for Orem.